Some seasons of life we wish to hold on to: the joyful, peaceful, “things are finally coming together” seasons. They are documented, savored, shared. But, others come and break us, leaving us empty and eager for something fresh and new. Through peaceful seasons, I feel affirmed of my calling. But, walking out the the empty seasons I am left questioning:
How can God use me, broken and empty?
In the Old Testament, Naomi has a season like this. She suffered loss incomparable to my own. Her husband and then both of her sons died, leaving her to return to her family widowed, broken, bitter, and empty.
“And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. And the women said, “Is this Naomi?” She said to them, “Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty.” Ruth 1:19-20
But God had big plans for Naomi. He didn’t wait for her to get it all together or give her the path mapped out. He used her to shape Jesus’s family tree when she felt she had nothing left to give. She leads her daughter in law Ruth to Boaz and they become the great (lots of greats here) grandparents of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
This painting has patches of bold colors in sharp marks to represent all the things along our paths that hurt and break us. There is a point where light hits the horizon in the valley to represent where Christ meets us. He meets us when we are in the valley, when we feel the lowest, when we are weak and unable to “do” for Him. In Naomi’s brokeness – to the point of saying “call me bitter” “I am EMPTY,” she is ushering in Christ himself.
Even when we feel EMPTY we are ENOUGH, because God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.